A much re-tweeted joke doing the rounds today reads as follows: "People are currently having to Google who Leon Knight is... and then Google the team he plays football for."
So who is he?
Well, some QPR fans will remember Leon Knight. He is the pint-sized ex-Chelsea forward who failed to make an impact when on loan at Loftus Road more than ten years ago. Eleven games, zero goals and a terrible attitude. He did go on to a more successful loan spell at Huddersfield Town, and when he later made a permanent move to Brighton he scored thirty goals there over a three-year period. But since then he has failed to settle and failed to score many goals at most of the numerous clubs at which he has been a complete waste of space. On his travels, and during what should have been the prime period of his playing career, he has slipped further and further down the lower reaches of professional football, first in England and more recently in Greece, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The list of clubs from which he has been ejected for that bad attitude includes Swansea City, Milton Keynes Dons and Rushden & Diamonds. In Ulster, Coleraine F.C. suspended him for failing to turn up to training and matches. Then, last month, his next club in the province, Glentoran F.C., fired him for making homophobic comments.
So Knight is a currently unemployed and totally underwhelming player with a proven record as a trouble-maker and gobshite. So why are people talking about him on Twitter today? Why are people joking about how obscure he is?
Because although Knight has been steadily been building a reputation as one of the most unpleasant people active on Twitter, in the last twenty-four hours his nastiness has switched up to a higher level altogether. For some reason, he has decided to direct vile abuse at the Wolves midfielder Jamie O'Hara and his wife Danielle Lloyd. While Ms. Lloyd may have a bit of a chequered past in terms of her own behaviour on television and in public places, there can be no justification for the hateful, misogynistic bile that Knight has directed at her and her husband.
Although this latest nonsense may be the low point of Leon Knight's notoriety as a Twitter pest, his comments are not without precedent. Knight regularly makes it clear he that he dislikes women:
Knight is a father. One of his young children is a girl. Are we to suppose that when his daughter is older, he will be comfortable with men speaking about her in these terms?
Leon Knight - constantly aggressive, constantly provoking people, forever getting fired for a lack of discipline and decency - is clearly a very damaged and deluded person. Perhaps he is mentally ill. Perhaps he is a sociopath. Either way, surely no football club will ever again touch him with a bargepole. Not even at the very lowest levels of the semi-professional game. However horrible he is determined to be, really he is to be pitied - as are his children.